A randomized placebo-controlled trial of electroencephalographic (EEG) neurofeedback in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
SourceJournal of Clinical Psychiatry, 74, 8, (2013), pp. 821-827
Article / Letter to editor
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PI Group Neuronal Oscillations
PI Group Memory and Emotion
Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
Subject160 000 Neuronal Oscillations; 160 038 Posterior alpha oscillations as an index; 160 044 Electrophysiological outcome of EEG-neurofeedback in a single-blind randomized placebocontrolled treatment study in ADHD children; DCN PAC - Perception action and control; DCN PAC - Perception action and control NCEBP 9 - Mental health
OBJECTIVE: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study was designed to assess the efficacy and safety of electroencephalographic (EEG) neurofeedback in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study started in August 2008 and ended in July 2012 and was conducted at Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Centre in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. METHOD: Forty-one children (aged 8-15 years) with a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of ADHD were randomly assigned to treatment with either EEG neurofeedback (n = 22) or placebo neurofeedback (n = 19) for 30 sessions, given as 2 sessions per week. The children were stratified by age, electrophysiologic state of arousal, and medication use. Everyone involved in the study, except the neurofeedback therapist and the principal investigator, was blinded to treatment assignment. The primary outcome was severity of ADHD symptoms on the ADHD Rating Scale IV, scored at baseline, during treatment, and at study end. Clinical improvement as measured by the Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale (CGI-I) was a secondary outcome. RESULTS: While total ADHD symptoms improved over time in both groups (F1,39 = 26.56, P < .001), there was no significant treatment effect, ie, group x time interaction (F1,39 = 0.36, P = .554); the same was true for clinical improvement as measured by the CGI-I (P = .092). No clinically relevant side effects were observed. Among the children and their parents, guessing treatment assignment was not better than chance level (P = .224 for children, P = .643 for parents). CONCLUSION: EEG neurofeedback was not superior to placebo neurofeedback in improving ADHD symptoms in children with ADHD. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00723684.
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